Anaplastic large cell lymphoma, ALK-negative

Unit of Lymphoid Malignancies, Department of Onco-Hematology, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy.
Critical reviews in oncology/hematology (Impact Factor: 4.03). 07/2012; 85(2). DOI: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2012.06.004
Source: PubMed


Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-negative (ALCL-ALK-) is a provisional entity in the WHO 2008 Classification that represents 2-3% of NHL and 12% of T-cell NHL. No particular risk factor has been clearly identified for ALCL, but a recent study showed an odds ratio of 18 for ALCL associated with breast implants. Usually, the architecture of involved organs is eroded by solid, cohesive sheets of neoplastic cells, with peripheral T-cell lymphoma-not otherwise specified (PTCL-NOS) and classical Hodgkin lymphoma being the main differential diagnoses. In this regard, staining for PAX5 and CD30 is useful. Translocations involving ALK are absent, TCR genes are clonally rearranged. CGH and GEP studies suggest a tendency of ALCL-ALK- to differ both from PTCL-NOS and from ALCL-ALK+. Patients with ALCL-ALK- are usually adults with a median age of 54-61 years, and a male-to-female ratio of 0.9. At presentation, ALCL-ALK- is often in III-IV stage, with B symptoms, high International Prognostic Index score, high lactate dehydrogenase serum levels, and an aggressive course. ALCL-ALK- presents with lymph node involvement in ∼50% of cases; extranodal spread (20%) is less common. Staging work-up for ALCL-ALK- is similar to that routinely used for nodal NHL. Overall prognosis is poor, with a 5-year OS of 30-49%, which is significantly worse when compared to OS reported in patients with ALCL-ALK+ (5-year: 70-86%). Patients with systemic ALCL exhibit a significantly better survival compared with patients with PTCL-NOS, with a 5-year OS of 51% and 32%, respectively. Age, PIT scoring system, β2-microglobulin, and bone marrow infiltration are the main prognostic factors. The expression of proteins involved in the regulation of apoptosis (caspase 3, Bcl-2, PI9) and of CD56 is related to clinical outcome. ALCL-ALK- is generally responsive to doxorubicin-containing chemotherapy, but relapses are frequent. CHOP is the most commonly used regimen to treat systemic ALCL with complete remission rates of 56%, and a 10-year DFS of 28%. Encouraging results have been reported with more intensive chemotherapy regimens. The addition of etoposide improved outcome. Alemtuxumab-CHOP regimen was associated with excellent remission rate but increased toxicity. The role of high-dose chemotherapy supported by ASCT has not been investigated in a trial of exclusively ALCL patients. When used in first remission, it was associated with a 5-year PFS of 64%. High-dose chemotherapy with ASCT is the standard therapeutic option for patients with relapsed or refractory disease. The role of allogeneic transplantation in patients with relapsed/refractory ALCL remains to be defined but there are data to support the contention that a graft-versus-lymphoma effect does exist. Myeloablative conditioning has been associated with 5-year PFS and OS of 40% and 41%, respectively, but a 5-year TRM of 33% was reported. Allo-SCT can be an option for relapsed/refractory ALCL in younger patients, preferably in the setting of a clinical trial. Pralatrexate, anti-CD30 monoclonal antibodies, brentuximab vedotin (SGN-35) in particular, (131)I-anti-CD45 radioantibody, yttrium-anti-CD25 radioimmunoconjugates, histone deacetylase inhibitors, bortezomib, gemcitabine, vorinostat, lenalidomide, and their combinations represent the most appealing chemotherapy and/or targeted agents to be investigated in future trials.

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    • "The neoplastic cells are characteristically large, so-called hallmark cells, with abundant cytoplasm and eccentric, horseshoe- or kidney-shaped nuclei. A significant proportion of systemic ALCL patients harbor the t(2;5)(p23;q35) translocation, leading to fusion of NPM (nucleophosmin) gene with ALK (anaplastic lymphoma kinase) gene and subsequent expression of constitutively active NPM-ALK tyrosine kinase.25 ALK expression in systemic ALCL varies with age, with ALK-positive ALCL more frequently presenting at a young age, while the peak incidence of ALK-negative ALCL is in adults (54–61 years).26 The majority of ALCL in pediatric patients is ALK-positive.27 "
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    ABSTRACT: Despite the relative success of chemotherapy for Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) and systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), novel therapeutic agents are needed for refractory or relapsed patients. Targeted immunotherapy has emerged as a novel treatment option for these patients. Although unconjugated anti-cluster of differentiation (CD)30 antibodies showed minimal antitumor activity in early clinical trials, development of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) appears promising. Brentuximab vedotin is an ADC composed of an anti-CD30 antibody linked to a potent microtubule-disrupting agent monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE). It has the ability to target CD30-positive tumor cells and, once bound to CD30, brentuximab vedotin is internalized and MMAE is released to induce cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. In two Phase II trials, objective response was reported in 75% and 86% of patients with refractory or relapsed HL and systemic ALCL, respectively, with an acceptable toxicity profile. Based on these studies, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval of brentuximab vedotin in August 2011 for the treatment of refractory and relapsed HL and ALCL. We review the key characteristics of brentuximab vedotin, clinical data supporting its therapeutic efficacy, and current ongoing trials to explore its utility in other CD30-positive malignancies.
    OncoTargets and Therapy 12/2013; 7:45-56. DOI:10.2147/OTT.S39107 · 2.31 Impact Factor
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    • "In ALCL, ALK expression has a strong clinical prognostic significance. Compared with ALK negative (ALK-) ALCL, ALK positive (ALK+) ALCL occurs more frequently in younger patients who respond well to chemotherapy and have a favorable clinical outcome [1,15-19]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Backgroud: Activation of the protein kinase B/mammalian target of rapamycin (AKT/mTOR) pathway has been demonstrated to be involved in nucleophosmin-anaplastic lymphoma kinase (NPM-ALK)-mediated tumorigenesis in anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) and correlated with unfavorable outcome in certain types of other cancers. However, the prognostic value of AKT/mTOR activation in ALCL remains to be fully elucidated. In the present study, we aim to address this question from a clinical perspective by comparing the expressions of the AKT/mTOR signaling molecules in ALCL patients and exploring the therapeutic significance of targeting the AKT/mTOR pathway in ALCL. A cohort of 103 patients with ALCL was enrolled in the study. Expression of ALK fusion proteins and the AKT/mTOR signaling phosphoproteins was studied by immunohistochemical (IHC) staining. The pathogenic role of ALK fusion proteins and the therapeutic significance of targeting the ATK/mTOR signaling pathway were further investigated in vitro study with an ALK + ALCL cell line and the NPM-ALK transformed BaF3 cells. ALK expression was detected in 60% of ALCLs, of which 79% exhibited the presence of NPM-ALK, whereas the remaining 21% expressed variant-ALK fusions. Phosphorylation of AKT, mTOR, 4E-binding protein-1 (4E-BP1), and 70 kDa ribosomal protein S6 kinase polypeptide 1 (p70S6K1) was detected in 76%, 80%, 91%, and 93% of ALCL patients, respectively. Both phospho-AKT (p-AKT) and p-mTOR were correlated to ALK expression, and p-mTOR was closely correlated to p-AKT. Both p-4E-BP1 and p-p70S6K1 were correlated to p-mTOR, but were not correlated to the expression of ALK and p-AKT. Clinically, ALK + ALCL occurred more commonly in younger patients, and ALK + ALCL patients had a much better prognosis than ALK-ALCL cases. However, expression of p-AKT, p-mTOR, p-4E-BP1, or p-p70S6K1 did not have an impact on the clinical outcome. Overexpression of NPM-ALK in a nonmalignant murine pro-B lymphoid cell line, BaF3, induced the cells to become cytokine-independent and resistant to glucocorticoids (GCs). Targeting AKT/mTOR inhibited growth and triggered the apoptotic cell death of ALK + ALCL cells and NPM-ALK transformed BaF3 cells, and also reversed GC resistance induced by overexpression of NPM-ALK. Overexpression of ALK due to chromosomal translocations is seen in the majority of ALCL patients and endows them with a much better prognosis. The AKT/mTOR signaling pathway is highly activated in ALK + ALCL patients and targeting the AKT/mTOR signaling pathway might confer a great therapeutic potential in ALCL.
    BMC Cancer 10/2013; 13(1):471. DOI:10.1186/1471-2407-13-471 · 3.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Current pathologic criteria cannot reliably distinguish cutaneous anaplastic large cell lymphoma from other CD30-positive T-cell lymphoproliferative disorders (lymphomatoid papulosis, systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma with skin involvement, and transformed mycosis fungoides). We previously reported IRF4 (interferon regulatory factor-4) translocations in cutaneous anaplastic large cell lymphomas. Here, we investigated the clinical utility of detecting IRF4 translocations in skin biopsies. We performed fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for IRF4 in 204 biopsies involved by T-cell lymphoproliferative disorders from 182 patients at three institutions. In all, 9 of 45 (20%) cutaneous anaplastic large cell lymphomas and 1 of 32 (3%) cases of lymphomatoid papulosis with informative results demonstrated an IRF4 translocation. Remaining informative cases were negative for a translocation (7 systemic anaplastic large cell lymphomas; 44 cases of mycosis fungoides/Sézary syndrome (13 transformed); 24 peripheral T-cell lymphomas, not otherwise specified; 12 CD4-positive small/medium-sized pleomorphic T-cell lymphomas; 5 extranodal NK/T-cell lymphomas, nasal type; 4 gamma-delta T-cell lymphomas; and 5 other uncommon T-cell lymphoproliferative disorders). Among all cutaneous T-cell lymphoproliferative disorders, FISH for IRF4 had a specificity and positive predictive value for cutaneous anaplastic large cell lymphoma of 99 and 90%, respectively (P=0.00002, Fisher's exact test). Among anaplastic large cell lymphomas, lymphomatoid papulosis, and transformed mycosis fungoides, specificity and positive predictive value were 98 and 90%, respectively (P=0.005). FISH abnormalities other than translocations and IRF4 protein expression were seen in 13 and 65% of cases, respectively, but were nonspecific with regard to T-cell lymphoproliferative disorder subtype. Our findings support the clinical utility of FISH for IRF4 in the differential diagnosis of T-cell lymphoproliferative disorders in skin biopsies, with detection of a translocation favoring cutaneous anaplastic large cell lymphoma. Like all FISH studies, IRF4 testing must be interpreted in the context of morphology, phenotype, and clinical features.
    Modern Pathology 12/2010; 24(4):596-605. DOI:10.1038/modpathol.2010.225 · 6.19 Impact Factor
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